Wall Street Journal Recommended Cooking Class for Kids
Ever have that day where 5:00 hits and you just know dinner is going to be late to the table?
You shoo your kids out of the kitchen by any means possible and just hope to get them nourished before the evening event.
When dinner is finally ready, you yell:
“Come set the table! Wash your hands! Here’s your food – eat up, eat up!”
It’s stressful, hectic, and not exactly quality family time.
But what if your kids already knew how to cut carrots and make ranch dip?
What if they had gotten their own snack at 4:00, getting you in the kitchen earlier to start dinner?
And what if, instead of a hindrance in the kitchen, they were actually helpful?
With a tiny investment of time and the right strategy, it may feel like someone waved a magic wand over the dinner table.
“Lack of time is one of the reasons I bought the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse. I knew that getting my kids in the kitchen was going to *save* me lots of time in the long run.
I’ve actually gotten a quicker payback than I expected! The time my kids have saved me in the kitchen has exceeded the time I’ve spent on the classes right from the first week.”
“As a chef and a mom, the high quality of Kids Cook Real Food and Mrs. Kimball’s commitment to accuracy was just what I was looking for. Other chef volunteers and I are using the curriculum to teach kids in person!”
“The most beautiful gift to give a child is to teach them to cook, how to make healthy food delicious, and to understand how to fuel their bodies healthily. Teaching kids to connect how they feel with what they eat is foundational to health.”
Beginner lessons focus on small motor control, dexterity, and basic kitchen skills.
Intermediate lessons focus on recipe independence, intro to sharp knives and stovetop safety.
Advanced lessons focus on sharp knife skills, oven safety and making meals independently.
With a plan for your cooking lessons and the thinking done ahead of time, you’ll be able to engage with your kids, enjoy yourself, and watch them blossom.
Moms are loving this course! Click to hear their thoughts (and see real kids in action, so cute!):
No guess work: 30 skills, logically organized, building on each other
Quick Start Guide if you have 5 minutes, or dig into all the details
Kids demo each skill at your child’s level, around 10 minutes each!
Tbs. vs. tsp.??? It’s a foreign language to kids! No abbreviations or translations needed at Kids Cook Real Food
Big families enjoy working together (but separately), working at their own level to create a meal or snack for all to enjoy.
Shared vocabulary with our fun phrases and printable memory guides.
We love the classes! I can’t believe how much the kids can do in the kitchen! Thank you for making this class and giving me the courage to teach them.
The Kids Cook Real Food team did a little research and found that if you were to send your kids to an in-person cooking class you should expect to spend between $30-$70 per class (depending on where you are in the country).
Popular subscription boxes that include only a few recipe cards (and sometimes a cooking tool you might not need) generally run $20-30/month, with no instructional videos.
With the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse, each lesson can be done on your schedule with the skimmable PDF lesson plans and engaging instructional videos for less than $3 per lesson with 2 children.
…AND if you have more than two kids to use the course with, that dollar amount is even less because you can use the course to teach them all!
Don’t worry, you don’t have to know a thing about cooking in order to teach your kids with this course. Mrs Kimball has done all the work for you and teaches the skills in the videos, so you can devote as much or as little time to practicing the skills as you please.
You choose your pace. You’ll have access to all the lessons, all the time, anywhere – you can do one a week, one a month, or delay starting until the time is right. Your call!
“Your fun terms and simple way of explaining things has made it stick and the self-confidence that these classes have given [my child] is amazing. I am so excited to share your website with other families.”
See what other parents are saying »
You’ll have access to all the lessons at all three skill levels! That includes 32 video lessons for kids, over a dozen more for adult guides, plus the recipes and lesson plans, flash cards and extra resources to go with each lesson.
You’ll have access to all the course materials without expiration, and in case the course ever goes offline, you can download the videos, recipes, and PDFs to any device. Downloadable videos also means you can plug them into your Roku, Apple TV or Fire TV and watch your cooking classes on the big screen.
Create logins for your older kids and let them run through classes 100% on their own in this special dashboard where I talk RIGHT to the kids, including clean-up lessons, quizzes, zero sharp knives, and even presentation training. This 9-lesson session needs only 5% adult supervision. If you think the Kids Cook Solo program is all you want, click here to skip the VIP access and just get it for $49.95.
This class has become a favorite – maybe because it requires zero prep and is a great one to start with, but also because it encourages kids to help with the daily set-up and clean-up of eating and makes dinner a true family affair. (Includes 4 videos + PDFs: Intro, Careful Carrying, Setting the Table, and Washing the Table)
The kids and I filmed a “one year later” update to show how to use the Instant Pot to achieve 3 of the original class skills: Browning Ground Meat, Steaming Vegetables, and Cooking Dry Beans.
Our VIP-only Facebook group is a safe place to ask questions, get encouragement and share stories of your cooking classes. You’ll feel the community of other families walking the same road AND get extra tips, motivation, and answers from the teacher, Katie Kimball.
If you’ll be using the course to teach a large group of kids, we’ve made it easy for you with this handbook to help you adapt the lessons to fit any situation.
Additional recipes for every skill at every level! Includes 5 sections and 50 new recipes, all in the classic KCRF kid-friendly format:
In the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse, we really strive to keep all the ingredients simple, basic groceries, but the one ingredient that is a little harder to source is high-quality gelatin. Our Beginners learn the awesome fine motor skill of pouring, and to help them practice, (although mostly just for fun), we make homemade gelatin with 100% fruit juice. With this bonus, VIPs will get half off grass-fed gelatin at Perfect Supplements, saving over $17!
Courtney picks up where we leave off, teaching kids who are ready and adults the ins and outs of herbs and spices, how to combine together and use with food, and how to maximize your flavor. I chose this one for my VIPs because I learned a lot from it and the lesson isn’t very difficult to do.
Parenting is a long process, and building connection, confidence and creativity in the kitchen likely won’t “happen” in 12 months. That’s why our VIPs get unexpiring access to all the classes at all skill levels, so they can commit to teaching their kids valuable cooking skills as part of family life.
And I commit to being there to help YOU, from great parenting conversation in the VIP Facebook group to the special access you have to me there when you run into questions or roadblocks, to all the incredible bonuses to enhance your kitchen experience.
***savings of $644.95 or over 81% off!***
34,523 Families Served Since 2016 — May We Serve Yours Too?
Payment plan available.
Yes! The beauty of this course is that it was totally designed to be family-friendly. I taught six children, two at each level, at the same time for almost every lesson. There are special “teaching multiple children” sections in the course materials to give you ideas on the order in which to present skills so that one age level can be practicing while you are working with another age level.
For almost every class, you’ll be able to juggle 2 or 3 age levels at the same time. And what they make usually ends up coming together to make one meal or snack that everyone can enjoy! See the Curriculum Map for the intricate module integrations to see what your kids might do.
Psssst! Parents, pass the device over to the kid. This part's for them...
If you’re old enough to read this yourself, you’re probably almost too old to be excited about helping Mom and Dad in the kitchen.
I’ve got a story for you, so hang with me.
My son Paul has always been kind of an “I don’t care what other people think” kid, being friends with girls in first grade when everyone else thought they had cooties, taking hip hop even though none of his friends were in it, and letting it roll off his back if kids teased him about his “real food” lunches that didn’t look like theirs.
Now that he’s in sixth grade, a strange thing has begun happening.
No, no - not THAT thing, sheesh - a lunchtime thing.
The guys who sit around him are jealous of his lunches.
They say stuff like:
“Your lunches are, like, 4-course gourmet!”
“I would totally trade my hot lunch for your lunch any day!”
And when he had some leftover casserole that he not only made himself but created himself (like, designed the recipe and chose the seasonings and all that), he got the best comments of all.
The other kids couldn’t believe he could do that, and (don’t tell him I told you, but...) I could see that he was proud of himself, too, because moms know stuff like that.
He probably would have snapped it if we let him have a phone, but we’re not cool parents. (Note to other uncool parents: that’s a reference to Snapchat. It’s a social media thing.)
One thing we do in the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse is to talk about “cooking like a TV chef" and I actually teach you how to just dump spices in your hand and throw them in the pot - without your parents having to throw out your meal because it was super disgusting.
And we talk about gas in the beans class. Just sayin’.
If you think it’s dumb after a couple classes, tell your parents and they can get their money back (they have 30 days).
I know, I know...I said the “d-word.” Don’t tell my 8-year-old or she’d have my head. 😉 Good thing I didn’t say the “s-word.”
If you want to make it sound like this was all your idea, feel free to tell your parents you decided you want to impress your friends by doing something they can’t do, or just that it’s time to learn to cook so you can be in charge of what you eat.
I won’t tell them a thing. #toomanysecrets
- Kelli, age 11, California
- Moroni, age 7, Missouri
Later, dude. Your parents can read the next part. (I do say “dude” in real life, seriously. Sorry about that.)
The best way to determine whether a child is Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced is to peruse the Curriculum Map that lists the skills taught at each level.
Some of the Beginner Level skills are appropriate for very young children, like ages 2-6 (i.e. careful pouring, building a colorful salad, spreading butter). Some of them are important foundations for any age, like peeling correctly, cross-hatch dicing, and measuring.
The Intermediate Level lays very important foundations such as sharp knife safety and stovetop safety. If your child has never worked with a sharp knife or at the stove, then they are definitely at Intermediate or Beginner, no matter their age. If you’re unsure about their ability in those areas, you can always watch part of the videos from Intermediate class 2 and 5 and see how your kids fare.
You can also pick and choose what classes to utilize and only teach a few from a level before moving on as well. I know of some young teens whose parents started them at the Beginner Level just for peeling and a couple of the other skills taught there. A teen could blow through those in combination with the Intermediate Level in a few hours. Many of our members with multiple children in the family have simply chosen to start everyone at the Beginner Level and move through all 24 lessons together.
The bottom line is that your child’s experience, personality, and your tolerance for new things and risks will direct where you begin, and our course will take them from there! Consider it a prerequisite for Intermediate that the child knows how to peel vegetables, cut with a dull knife, and measure accurately. To move to Advanced, a child must have some experience with sharp knives and the stove, as well as cracking eggs and reading a recipe on their own. Lots of foundational skills at the Intermediate Level!
If you have a child 8 or older and you'd like them to work through some lessons independently, consider the Kids Cook Solo independent training program, which is available by itself or as part of our VIP membership. See all membership options and pricing here.
Yes. In the terms and conditions it says it’s ok to teach any number of children. You may copy the memory tools for them but not the entire recipe eBook or lesson plans, and you can’t share the videos except for viewing them. This is awesome for inviting neighbors or cousins over to your house and also applies to homeschool co-ops where many families get together.
The only thing members don’t have permission for is teaching others for-profit. That’s a separate For-Profit License.
If you're part of a homeschool co-op or learning pod, you might be interested in our group discount on a three-month membership.
The eCourse is very allergy-friendly and provides many substitutions for special diets! The beauty of this course is that the focus is on the skills, not the recipes. If someone in your family can’t or won’t eat an ingredient we use in the demonstrated recipe, it’s easy to swap it out for another recipe and still practice the same cooking skill. There is a section in every lesson plan with ideas for allergies and substitutions of many kinds.
For example, we make ranch and Italian – the sour cream base for the ranch wouldn’t work for a dairy allergy or vegan, but kids could still make Italian, so the skill still gets appropriate practice. Our pancake and muffin recipes use eggs, but an egg-sensitive family could easily practice the skills of flipping pancakes and making a recipe all by oneself with any favorite pancake or muffin recipe.
As long as the children won’t be traumatized by their experience not matching the videos exactly (we have a sensitive type here at the Kimball household, so I know how that can go), you should feel confident embarking on the course with any dietary restriction.
Here are some individual breakdowns so you can see how much you might have to adapt:
If you have other allergies, feel free to email a question to [email protected] and I’ll get back to you ASAP. If you get the VIP level with Facebook support version, I’d be able to help you find suitable allergy-friendly recipes to fit your needs for each skill as you work through the course.
I assure you that safety is a top priority in the lessons and videos, and a lot of our initial time teaching knife skills and working at the stove is spent on safety. There’s no guarantee that accidents won’t happen, but walking carries some risk too, yet we all manage to do it and let our kids do it as well. 😉
I’ll let a happy member tell you in her own words about her experience with safety:
“My kids can safely work at the stove! THANK YOU! I have always been too afraid to go there and you gave me and my kiddos the right info we needed to do it safely.”
Not really. There’s a supply list with every single item you’ll need for all 27 lessons, and it’s barely over a page of large text and includes items like “butter knife” and “large mixing bowl.” Most homes will have 90% of what we use already, and we recommend resources to purchase if you don’t.
One necessary item for Intermediate and Advanced Level kids is a knife that fits your child’s hands. Any paring knife will do for the Intermediate Level, but the Advanced kids use a chef’s knife. You should have access to a sharp chef’s knife that’s no longer than 6 inches in length for best success with smaller hands (or something like a 4-inch Victorinox knife that can be used on many chef’s knife tasks). See our resources page for easy order links and ideas..
The course is completely at your own pace, any time you’d like to login.
You can request emails once a week for about 9 weeks as if the course was live and weekly, just a way to help keep you accountable and remind you that you have this awesome course at your disposal. You can stop and start those weekly reminders over anytime.
I'll also send reminders at key points of the year like school breaks to remind you in case you forget!
Every class includes :
There are also 4 “Foundations 101” video lessons to establish basic skills before embarking on the course, and if you’re a VIP member, there’s a bonus 4-video Hospitality Class too.
Single Level access includes the Adult Guide and All-Kid videos, plus the level you chose.
Written materials in each lesson:
Most families choose the All-Level VIP Membership, for many reasons. VIP is probably right for you if:
If you only have older kids and you want them to work on the lessons independently, you might want to consider Kids Cook Solo independent training program, which has 15 videos from the Original eCourse arranged in a format kids ages 8 and up can do 95% on their own. Kids Cook Solo is available by itself, and it is also included in our VIP membership. See all membership options and pricing.
We definitely think so! In addition to getting access to all three skill levels in the Original eCourse, you get all these bonuses:
Over $400 Value:
You can upgrade a standard membership to VIP at any time once you're in the membership area.
To teach one child all 3 levels, the 32 videos break down to just under $5 per lesson for VIP access that never expires (and there are over a dozen additional adult videos if you want them). Unlimited access will allow you to come back to new lessons as your child matures.
The cost gets even lower if you have more kids! For a family with three kids who are all going to do every level, our $149.95 one-time fee VIP membership comes out to only around $1.50 per lesson! We've also added over $300 in bonuses to that level at no extra charge. A single level (Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced) is $49.95 for 12 months of access.
Compare this to the nationwide average of around $50 per lesson for in-person cooking classes where you drop your child off and hope for the best. Often, parents find it difficult to coach their children in the kitchen after a cooking class taught by someone else, because the teacher didn’t communicate the expectations and new skills effectively to the parents so the learning can continue at home (or because a recipe was learned by rote, not foundational skills).
With the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse, you get the benefit of someone else teaching the skills, but you get to be right there connecting with your child and will be prepared to guide the practice as it happens in your own kitchen with familiar tools. We also back our classes with a 30-day happiness guarantee in case it's not a perfect fit for your family.
All-level VIP access is definitely the best deal, but if you only want one level, we offer that too! See all options and pricing here.
Starting when you receive access to the course (immediately after purchase), you’ll have 30 days to try out the course in your kitchen.
Please note that our payment plan option is not a subscription. When you sign up for our payment plan you are committing to pay the entire amount, like a house mortgage or car payment (but much smaller!) and can't cancel partway through. Like all of our products, the payment plan does still include our 30-day happiness guarantee. If you're not completely happy with the classes for any reason, you'll get a full refund within the first 30 days.
Flash drives include a $10 service charge to return and of course the product itself must be mailed back. Other physical products are non-refundable.
Yes, we have a payment plan for our VIP all-level membership. You can find it right here for details. Please note that this is a payment plan, not a subscription. You're committing to pay the entire amount, like a house mortgage or car payment (but much smaller!) and can't cancel partway through. Like all of our products, the payment plan does still include our 30-day happiness guarantee. If you're not completely happy with the classes for any reason, you'll get a full refund within the first 30 days. Videos will become downloadable after the final payment is made.